Brain Dead 13 makes no improvement in a decade-old genre.
Brain Dead 13 follows in the footsteps of such laser disc genre games as Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. Even with Don Bluth-style animation, and a quick decision-making interface, Brain Dead 13 makes no improvement in a decade-old genre that never managed to bring its interactive excitement up to the level of its visuals.
As Fritz, the player runs around the castle, usually chased by some sort of beastie, making between one and three directional decisions per screen. Dragon's Lair, the first laser disc game (so named because the arcade versions ran off of laser discs installed inside the machine), warned the player when a decision had to be made - be it an item to manipulate or a direction to travel. Brain Dead 13, however, has no such warning: As a result, there's simply no chance for a player to succeed. Occasionally, a player might guess the correct move, but more often than not the player is forced to retry the move and make his or her way by trial and error. Players have as many lives as they need, but it won't take long for them to curse this fountain of immortality.
The visuals in Brain Dead 13 leave much to be desired. In fact this Saturn game doesn't even look as good as the original Dragon's Lair - a game that's a decade old. Brain Dead's animation is somewhat jumpy, and the lines aren't smooth - the characters move in very clear pixels. Even worse, the sound sometimes jumps - providing a bumpy effect that's reminiscent of a computer desperately trying to keep up with fullmotion video it just can't handle.
The PC edition of Dragon's Lair is a more fluid, more enjoyable laser disc translation. It's the game fans of this genre should grab. Consider taking Brain Dead 13 for a spin only if you've already memorized the classics, or want to play this type of game on the consoles.